A Hybrid Eulerian-Eulerian Discrete-Phase Model of Turbulent Bubbly FLow

[+] Author and Article Information
Hyunjin Yang

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1206 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801 USA

Surya P. Vanka

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1206 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801 USA

Brian G. Thomas

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines Brown Hall W370-B, 1610 Illinois Street, Golden, CO 80401 USA

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039793 History: Received November 15, 2017; Revised March 24, 2018


The Eulerian-Eulerian two-fluid model (EE) is a powerful general model for multiphase flow computations. However, one limitation of the EE model is that it has no ability to estimate the local bubble sizes by itself. In this work, we have combined the Discrete Phase model (DPM) to estimate the evolution of bubble sizes with the Eulerian-Eulerian model. In the DPM, the change of bubble size distribution is estimated by coalescence and breakup modeling of the bubbles. The time-varying bubble distribution is used to compute the local interface area between gas and liquid phase, which is then used to estimate the momentum interactions such as drag, lift, wall lubrication and turbulent dispersion forces for the EE model. In this work, this newly-developed hybrid model (EEDPM) is applied to compute an upward flowing bubbly flow in a vertical pipe and the results are compared with previous experimental work. The EEDPM model is able to reasonably predict the locally different bubble size distributions and the velocity and gas fraction fields. On the other hand, the standard EE model without the DPM shows good comparison with measurements only when the prescribed constant initial bubble size is accurate and does not change much. Parametric studies are implemented to understand the contributions of bubble interactions and volumetric expansion on the size change of bubbles quantitatively. The results show that coalescence is larger than other effects, and naturally increases in importance with increasing gas fraction.

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